Nikon Z7ii image degrades on import

Community Beginner ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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I recently purchased a Nikon Z7ii. This is my 5th camera in 8 years of using LR. When looking at the images and deciding which to import, everything looks fine. But once they are imported into LR they will look horrible. If the photo was shot at ISO 2000, after import the noise looks like it was shot at ISO 8000. I have heard of other people having the same issue, and someone even suggested I shoot in JPEG, not RAW. Which I clearly don't want to do. LR is updated. I can anly assume the Adobe profile for this camera is causing this issue, but is there a work around or setting I need to use? 

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LEGEND ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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Lightroom (Lr icon) or Lightroom Classic (LrC icon)?


Can you show us screen captures before Import and after Import? Please use the "Insert Photos" icon to include your screen captures in your reply? Do not attach files. 

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Community Beginner ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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pre 2.jpgimport 2.jpg

These are both dark and kinda soft, taken this morning. But you can see the difference in the imported photo. Just seems excessively grainy. Taken with Nikon 200-500 lens

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LEGEND ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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Thanks. Again I ask, Lightroom (Lr icon) or Lightroom Classic (LrC icon)?

 

Is the second image as shown in the Library Module, or is it as shown in the Develop Module?

 

In the Import dialog box, a JPG preview of the photo is shown, this includes whatever processing (which can include noise reduction and sharpening) is done by the camera. The raw image does not include this in-camera processing. So, at this point, I'm not concerned at all about the difference between the two images.

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Community Expert ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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Indeed. Camera processing usually includes very aggressive noise reduction. In Lightroom you have to dial it in yourself.

 

Anyway - this is a variety of a broader question we get all the time: why is Lightroom changing my files? But this misses a very basic fact: it's the very same sensor data. Lightroom isn't changing anything.

 

In reality, camera manufacturers have a strong incentive to dial adjustments up as much as they can, to produce an immediately pleasing image. Aggressive noise reduction and sharpening, saturated color, high contrast. Push brightness at least one stop and hopefully a bit higher than the competition. It all sells cameras.

 

Lightroom doesn't do any of that. The default settings are conservative. It's all up to you! The sliders are there to be used, use them.

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Community Expert ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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See the discussion here with respect to needing a DNG to examine and the idea that higher ISO can produce less noise (ISO isn't part of actual exposure). 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/lightroom-classic-discussions/unknown-noise-in-dark-areas-of-image-af...

In short: We really need a DNG which would bake all your edits and allow analysis of the raw exposure outside of Lightroom Classic. Can you upload such a DNG to something like Dropbox or similar? 

You shoot in JPEG plus raw, the possibility the raw is under exposed is pretty significant. Once we get a DNG, RawDigger will provide that information. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Expert ,
May 04, 2022 May 04, 2022

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This is simply due to Lightroom using much less aggressive noise reduction than the camera by default. I recommend you set Lightroom to use camera settings for this camera and you need to simply optimize the detail sliders. The camera (I have the same) really plasters over fine detail in its own jpeg preview (that's what you see upon original import of the raw) rendering by the extremely agressive noise reduction it applies by default. Lightroom does a lot better than the in-camera noise reduction preserving detail and reducing noise as long as you spend a few seconds optimizing it. For really critical low light work, consider using Topaz DenoiseAI or Topaz SharpenAI. These do an even better job than Lightroom (and lightyears better than the camera itself) at reducing noise and giving you every last shred of detail in the file. Running that software is slow though but very much worth it. I do this for most of my wildlife work which is often shot at high ISO (because of the needed high shutter speed and long lenses) at dawn or dusk.

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